Letter to Learned People: Problem articulation and Solution space By Zahir Ebrahim

Letter to Learned People: Problem articulation and Solution space

Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

Sunday February 03, 2013, 3:15 PM PST

Scholarly people often ask me why I critique both consent chiefs (empire is good crowd of thinkers) and dissent chiefs (empire is bad crowd of thinkers), and could I succinctly state what is it that I presume to know which is different at Project Humanbeingsfirst.org.

Well, Edward Bernays straightforwardly explained to David Letterman on his show when asked what is calling you “doctor” all about: “people will believe me more if you call me doctor”.

Not being a “doctor” of commonsense, it is therefore a tad hard to sell commonsense to the brilliant minds who are already “doctors”, never mind to the public mind that only looks for “doctors” before believing them.

With this perception management built-into all of us by the very nature of our organic makeup, of seeking “authority figures” in every domain of our lives to follow, and furthermore, as Bertrand Russell had beautifully captured the public mind:

What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index to his desires – desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts [or worldview], he will scrutinize it closely, and unless [and at times even when] the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts [or worldview], he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence.” — Bertrand Russell, Proposed Roads to Freedom, 1919, pg. 147

there is therefore not much leverage available for exponents of ordinary commonsense. No university offers a doctorate degree in that discipline, never mind any kind of course-work or area-studies program to inculcate commonsense.

Nevertheless, in response to the question that often gets me quoted back the following repartee from even close friends: “what is you qualification for this opinion”, and me getting tired of answering “absolutely none”, I dug out the following three reports from my archives to show why even just ordinary commonsense can trump all the Nobel laureates in the sciences and humanities, all the PhDs in physics and chemistry, not to forget mathematics and philosophy, and all the distinguished experts, journalists, commentators, and ayatollahs in the world who are marketed first by the elegant characterization made by Edward Bernays rather than by their facility of commonsense – a commodity evidently rarer than its name might lead one to believe:

What is the fundamental problem you are addressing: Read this

What is the basic solution you advocate: Read this if Western ; Read this if Eastern

What is the fundamental problem with 9/11 Truth aficionados: Read this

What is the problem of war veterans suffering PTSD: Read this

I am sharing this with act of humble goodwill, the fostering of commonsense among a learned people, with a great deal of caution and circumspection. It can be akin to calling the mirror blind and fraught with existential hazards.


With best regards
from a common man – one who does not have a doctorate in commonsense
(but evidently appears to exercise a great monopoly upon its use —  baarrff, splutterrr, coughcough!!)

Zahir Ebrahim
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

California, United States of America,
en route to a habitat suffering from an acute drought of commonsense, Pakistan

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Problem articulation and Solution space By Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org